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Proverbs 4:23

Context

4:23 Guard your heart with all vigilance, 1 

for from it are the sources 2  of life.

Proverbs 13:3

Context

13:3 The one who guards his words 3  guards his life,

but 4  whoever is talkative 5  will come to ruin. 6 

1 tn Heb “more than all guarding.” This idiom means “with all vigilance.” The construction uses the preposition מִן (min) to express “above; beyond,” the word “all” and the noun “prison; guard; act of guarding.” The latter is the use here (BDB 1038 s.v. מִשְׁמָר).

2 sn The word תּוֹצְאוֹת (totsot, from יָצָא, yatsa’) means “outgoings; extremities; sources.” It is used here for starting points, like a fountainhead, and so the translation “sources” works well.

3 tn Heb “mouth” (so KJV, NAB). The term פֶּה (peh, “mouth”) functions as a metonymy of cause for speech.

4 tn The term “but” does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness.

5 tn Heb “opens wide his lips.” This is an idiom meaning “to be talkative” (BDB 832 s.v. פָּשַׂק Qal). Cf. NIV “speaks rashly”; TEV “a careless talker”; CEV “talk too much.”

6 sn Tight control over what one says prevents trouble (e.g., Prov 10:10; 17:28; Jas 3:1-12; Sir 28:25). Amenemope advises to “sleep a night before speaking” (5:15; ANET 422, n. 10). The old Arab proverb is appropriate: “Take heed that your tongue does not cut your throat” (O. Zockler, Proverbs, 134).



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